Queensryche In Concert At The Ballroom In Hampton Beach New Hampshire
October 25, 2003
Hampton Beach, NH - Seeing Queensryche live was everything and more than I could possibly expect last night on the cold waterfront of New Hampshire. The venue was different, not something that I was accustomed to. The Ballroom is large with hundreds of tables and chairs setup (capacity 2000), much like a nightclub, so the setting was intimate once you sat down (which did not last long). I could not have asked for better seating. I was in section one off to the left of the stage. The only time I could not see the entire band is when I sat down to rest my bones. Nobody in the joint was sitting down all night for this event, no surprise there.
This band is a ball of energy! As they made their way through their recorded history and the new release Tribe, there was not a moments reprieve for the pumped up audience, and they seemed to love every minute of it. The one-two punch of guitar army Mike Stone and Mike Wilton have a lot to do with the energy level they create, and were they ever loud!
The usual characters were present to watch and find humor and there were two medium sized video screens on either side of the stage for further visual pleasures. The videos were quite provocative and odd at the same time, with many political messages driven home to the heart of each person listening and watching. The one video that really freaked me out was a woman (or creature) with a multi colored face, complete with vampire fangs. She was lip-syncing the beginning of one of the songs (my memory fails me which one). Her voice was disturbingly evil, cold and mechanized. Even though the images were startling, I found it interesting and entertaining nevertheless. Most of the videos were strangely violent, but when you think about how aggressive their music is, it all makes sense.
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Geoff Tate has not missed a step after all these years. His voice is phenomenal. He is indeed the core of the band, commanding a strong stage presence at all times. The crowd there was well behaved and civil, which I found refreshing actually. Queensryche's music can drive a crowd into a frenetic mood easily and it seemed that it would happen at any moment, but it never did.
This band is tight, very tight. Every member knows their place and they sound like a well-oiled machine. Some of the treats of the night were a brief acoustic set, which was excellent, featuring one of their best songs, "Silent Lucidity." Tate mentioned before starting into the song that most people misunderstood the lyrics so I made a conscious effort to pay attention more to what they were trying to say.
I felt numb and my ears were ringing after it was over, but it was worth every second, just as it always is. Concerts provide an outlet for self-expression and emotion and Queensryche was more than willing to help those attending to do just that. It has been a great year for me attending concerts and this was a fine way to close the curtain going into the Holiday season. I look forward to more live music experiences in 2004. Just one more thing…check out the Queensryche catalog, it is available in a remastered format. I already have my order in!
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